Thursday, June 16, 2011

Blytheville National Tour Sunday

Day 2 started with lots of course walks, since the storm on Saturday night cleared out the site and blew the cones around on the course.  The event staff did a fantastic job getting everything squared away for day 2.  Thanks, guys!   

We were sitting in 2nd and 3rd place, 0.388 and 0.882 behind Jay Jackson.    Garrett put the pressure on Jay early by jumping into the lead with a class-best 63.871 on his first run.   I struggled with 3rd again and ran an embarrassingly slow 66.781.     Jay ran a 64.719, dropping him to second, but moved back into the lead on his second run with a 64.009.   Garrett missed a gate on course for a DNF, and I ran another slow time (65.993), and hit 5th gear on an attempted 3rd gear upshift again. On Jay's final run in the 914-6, he slowed down by 0.2, with a 64.264, leaving the door open for Garret to steal the win.  Unfortunately, Garrett only made up half of the 0.2s defect, by running a 63.764, and picked up a cone.    With first and second place settled, and my head not in the game, I was just hoping to hang on to third place.   I decided I would leave the car in 2nd gear and never even try for 3rd.  The result: I shaved only 0.6 seconds off and ran another slow time -- 65.302.    Rick McPherson leapfrogged into 3rd place on his last run with a 64.641.      So, Garrett finished 2nd (0.2s from first) and I wound up 4th (2.17s out of first).    Great job Garrett!!!     

In looking at the data on the ride home, I had identical times and speeds to Garrett in all but two places on course.  I lost 1.1 seconds to Garrett from the start through the opening offsets leading into the first slalom.   I lost another 0.7 seconds to Garrett in the final slalom before the finish.  

Garrett's first run on Sunday:

Bryan's 3rd run on Sunday:

I really need to figure out why I'm having such a hard time finding 3rd in this car.   I've never been able to hit it consistently.    I've changed transmissions, seats, seating position, shifters, and even put in a rail to guide the shifter into 3rd.   I'm just too ham-fisted, I guess.    Oh well, we still had still a fantastic weekend with a great competition with some really great FP guys.   Blytheville is such a great site, and has such great people, I'm shocked at the low turnout for this Tour.   Anyone that couldn't make it missed a great event.   We will definitely be back in October for another shot at Jay.   

Up next for us?   We've decided to run the Toledo, OH National Tour on July 2-3 to get more seat time on concrete.   

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